Promoting Good Health & Well-Being through access to Clean Cooking
The UN Sustainable Development Goals target a number of factors in their third Goal “Good Health and Wellbeing”. Among other indicators, the goal includes expanding overall life expectancy, eradicating most common causes for diseases and promoting access to clean water, sanitation and medical aid. (SDG tracker)
In Uganda, numbers of deaths caused by “non-communicable” diseases like cancer and chronic respiratory diseases remain high, as more than 21% of the entire populations deaths are caused or attributed to such disease. (SDG tracker, 2019)
How does the ECOCA contribute to SDG 3: Good Health & Well-Being?
Traditional cooking methods in refugee settlements in Uganda most commonly rely on cooking over open fire by burning firewood, charcoal, other flamable materials or smaller stoves powered by gas. These means of cooking cause smoke and gases released into the air, causing earlier described diseases. Furthermore, as many families also cook inside their homes, poisonous smoke is contained inside, constantly being inhaled by family members.
The ECOCA electric solar cookstove is powered by a solar panel, therefore cooking with the electric kitchen unit does not require any fossil fuels, charcoal or gas to heat the pot. This completely eradicates toxic smoke and gases released into the air. Through this clean, innovative mode of cooking, a change to the ECOCA solar cookstove specifically contributes to indicator 3.4.1 is the
mortality rate attributed to cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes or chronic respiratory disease.
By reducing peoples’ exposure to smoke from burning firewood through the use of the ECOCA, they reportedly experience less pain in their eyes, throat and on the skin. This ultimately relates to less infections with diseases like (lung-)cancer, and other chronic respiratory illnesses.
Another important point for better health through switching to a solar-powered electric cookstove is the prevention of neck, muscular, or other injuries and chronic diseases caused by carrying heavy loads of firewood over extended distances in very hot climate.
By collecting firewood needed for conventional cooking over open fire, especially women have to take upon themselves these physical burdens several times a week, causing neck and back pain and injuries, as well as a high risk of getting into road accidents or rape attacks when walking these long distances.
By fully eradicating the need to collect firewood for cooking, the ECOCA avoids these risks, thereby adding to target 3.6. “Reduce road injuries and deaths” (SDG tracker), as well as reducing sexual assault on women.